Wintertime

Now that the holidays are over, and the rush from event to event has tapered off, it’s nice to have things back to normal again. The decorations have been packed away for next year, but instead of it seeming dull and dreary, it actually makes for a cleaner, brighter palette again. I love the way my home feels wide open and fresh, with the bright winter light shining in during the day. My mom and I talked about how this is the time of year when we can settle in, breathe, and rest - enjoying the quiet after the busy season. She props her Christmas tree outside as a safe shelter for the birds to hide in, and I let my wreath stay up until at least February (or until the last of the needles are strewn across my little deck).

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Today I’m enjoying quiet time inside with my thick socks, wood fire, hot coffee and a new project to work on. There’s no pressure to finish it on time, no color specifics to tempt anyone but me; it’s something simple and satisfying to work up in the grey hours of the afternoon.

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It’s this time of year that makes me want to work on something for me - a restful project that gives me a little bit of purpose, but not stressful. As I settle into the muffled, quiet patterns of wintry calmness, I love taking the time to enjoy something relaxing and creative.

Why don’t you join me with one of my DIY kits? I currently offer two kits - one for a simple wall hanging, and one for a simple macrame plant hanger. These are both very easy and therapeutic to make, and include everything you need to finish the project.

This winter, I encourage you to rest and learn at your own pace. Embrace the quiet days of cold, and let them be a time of refreshment and peace. Share them with friends and a big pot of soup, or a few hours spent over coffee! Start a little book discussion, or have a listening party. However you spend your winter, I wish you rest and joy.


DIY Woven Lampshade

Today we're making a DIY woven lampshade! You'll fix up an old metal lampshade with some openwork weaving and a bit of macrame. This is a great way to upgrade an old lampshade and use up leftover yarn. Hang it from the ceiling, flip it upside down and hang it, or use it as a real lampshade (over a low-wattage or eco-friendly light bulb). You'll need: Any lampshade with metal frame (you'll rip/cut off the fabric) Gold paint (optional) Paintbrush (optional) Yarn of your choice/color - I used three neutral shades of brown, green, and beige. Tapestry needle Scissors

To start, cut/rip off the fabric covering your lampshade. Don't feel bad - you probably got this lampshade for $1, and there are millions of lampshades in the world. You're making this one into something super cool!

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Paint your lampshade frame gold, if you'd like. I love the metallic look - I mean, the shade was already sort of metallic, but definitely not gold. I would do this in gold, silver, or copper!

DIY Woven Lampshade

Next, start weaving! I wanted my shade to have an openwork look, so I kept my weaving spaced pretty far apart. If you keep your tension pretty tight, the yarn should stay in place and not slip down or up the bars. Weave horizontally in each of the lamp's 'panels'.

Next, weave vertically. You'll follow the same principle as the horizontal weaving, alternating colors as you go. When you're finished weaving the panels, wrap the top of the lamp with one color to hide the short ends and create a more polished look.

DIY Woven Lampshade

Next, cut 12" lengths of your color choice. You'll tie these to the bottom of the lamp as follows:

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I used two colors, and actually did not have enough to tie them this close together, but if you have enough go for it! It will be a bit more solid. Now we'll make the square knots:

DIY Woven Lampshade

DIY Woven Lampshade

DIY Woven Lampshade

DIY Woven Lampshade

Repeat the last two steps once more.

DIY Woven Lampshade

Repeat the last four steps around the whole shade. Now alternate, creating a mesh look:

DIY Woven Lampshade

DIY Woven Lampshade

Trim the ends, and you're finished! I love how mine came out. I just have to find a cute base for it and figure out the structure - there are so many different types of lampshades it can be hard to match one with the right base, especially if you want to use a bulb. So hang it from the ceiling!

DIY Woven Lampshade

DIY Woven Lampshade

Thanks for following along. If you happen to try this DIY woven lampshade and share some photos on Instagram, tag me @melmariadesigns! I'd love to see what you come up with. This DIY would look really cool with thicker fiber (just make sure to use 100% wool if you plan on using an actual lightbulb in your lamp - wool is not flammable!).